Saturday, April 11, 2015

The hunger and thirst for justice


THERE is a true and very important saying that we all need to listen to and learn from: “There is no peace when there is no justice.” The truth of this is seen and felt by thousands of people around the world and people never forget the injustices that they have suffered. Hurt and pain are the realities that we humans carry with us through out our lives. Much of it happens in families and in school and children are scared for life. They suffer much more when they are victims of sexual and physical abuse and torture.
Rejection, exclusion, abuse and hurt feelings of childhood shape and mold the characters of every person. Some cope with it and survive and live with it. Others are crippled emotionally and psychologically and many suffer depression and some take their own lives. Other children are even murdered on live videos to please international pedophiles. Are we going to continue allowing this?
Abused children carry the memories into late adult life because as children they are unable to challenge and confront their abusers to demand justice. The culture of ignoring the individual personality and rights of children is part of this injustice. The children can grow up with a grudge, a desire for justice, anger at being denied it and turn to revenge seeking and even violence. When whole communities are degraded, oppressed and exploited they become angry and seek redress through demonstrations, riots and protest. This leads to inevitable confrontation and violence. Others seek justice in the courts but their complaints are frequently dismissed.
The individual child can become an angry violent person when abused and denied justice. Perhaps that’s why thousands of young people are flooding to Syria to become fighters and join the ISIS. Perhaps they see it as a way to take bloody revenge on the world they have come to hate.
Prior to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, there were few laws to fully protect the rights of children or treat them as individual persons in their own right. The high status given to a child in the Gospel values were generally ignored for 2000 years. Since the approval of Convention all member states had to draft their laws based on the convention document.
But are those laws really and wholeheartedly implemented and beneficial to children? In the Philippines, experience shows that mostly they are not. Police, prosecutors, judges are more favorable to the abusers than to the children. More accused child abusers and rapists are allowed to go free than are convicted.
The reasons are many: corruption, bribery, favoritism, and no belief in the law, the incompetence of police, prosecutors, and judges add to the failure.
For all this there are good honest hardworking judges for the most part that take pride in doing justice. The good judges restore people’s trust and respect in the judicial process but they are all too few.
Children cannot and should not be made to wait years for justice. Justice based on clear evidence is essential for healing. Children get witness fatigue, despair of getting justice, when there are many postponements and manipulations and cheating to contend with.
Lawyers working for the accused get paid per hearing plus a retainer fee. It’s in their interest to prolong the case, earn more money and hope to win by wearing down the will of the victim so she will give up and the rapist can get away with the crimes.
Then same impotent child protection laws are allegedly ignored. The telecommunications companies are allegedly not complying with the anti-child pornography law of 2009. They have made no statement of compliance with the law. This law, RA 9775, explicitly orders the Internet Server Providers (ISP’s) to install software to block the transmission of child porn images and cyber-sex where children are forced to do sexual acts live on camera sent through the Internet to paying customers in other cities or countries. Criminal pedophiles pay to watch the children being abused and raped. Some order that they be tortured and killed.
The National Telecommunication Commission officials are apparently looking the other way. Perhaps even looking at the child pornography, why else don’t they implement the law? The owners and shareholders of the biggest company PLDT can be found on the Internet. They are allegedly technically likewise violators of the law like most of the top 100 child pornographers who are Filipinos and US Nationals.
Victims of child pornography should file charges against the telecommunication companies and individual stockholders that violate the law. If it is being obeyed the victims and their families would not be suffering.
Now we see the likely result of this connivance and collusion between big business and government officials. Horrific crimes against children are being done and continue daily over the Internet. The filters have not been deployed or installed as the law requires. The Internet Watch Foundation can prove that. Child and adult pornography is available to children daily on their pads and cell phones.
The dirty work of Australian Peter Scully and his local helpers was possible because of uncontrolled Internet access. They made videos of a screaming 18 month old child being tortured and murdered. You need to be of strong heart if you watch this.
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rir03PwsrU4>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rir03PwsrU4
The horrific videos were sold in the USA and EU countries. Is this a civilized country? Is Christianity dead? Is the Philippines a morally failed state? Why can this happen openly and uncontrolled? The answer is insatiable greed and the lust for money, pleasure and power. The authorities have vital questions to answer and all of us must challenge politicians and corporations everywhere and act to end such crimes and do justice for the children.
shaycullen@gmail.com
shaycullen@preda.org

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The love that can change the world



Holy Week 2015. What brought about the shameful torture, humiliation and excruciating execution, as a criminal on a Roman cross is what we need to ask and answer everyday not just during Holy Week.
Hundreds of thousands of true Christians around the world suffer persecution, torture and death these days because they are disciples of Jesus of Nazareth and put into practice his spiritual values that give meaning to life itself.
Why is there such opposition to a message, a way of life that espouses love of the outcast, freedom, human rights and dignity, equality and the defense of children and a better life for the poor and the oppressed people of this world?
The Man who was called by some a great prophet who had come back to life, a wonder worker, a spiritual teacher, a man of compassion, a peace-maker, a defender of children and women and a social revolutionary brought these values into the world by his simplicity of life and his living out of these values.
He was welcomed into the capital Jerusalem one sunny April morning two thousand years ago by adoring crowds waving palm branches who were inspired by his teaching, healing and prophetic voice for the poor and the downtrodden. He stood with the marginalized outcasts and victims of social injustice. He was a hero and inspirational spiritual leader that day and everyday since.
The man from Nazareth was far ahead of his time, in fact ahead of all time. He said simply that he was a Son of Man. One who was just like everyone else, but ready to serve and help anyone in need. He was a man without power and influence, had no servants or slaves and one who even washed the feet of his students and followers as an example for us all. The people said he was a Son of God and a descendent of the great king David.
Perhaps the combination of these titles, their political overtones and the widespread belief that he would take political power in Jerusalem fueled the fears of the ruling powers that there would be a popular uprising to declare Jesus King of the Jews. That title was mockingly nailed to his cross, the instrument of execution.
When his disciples aired these sentiments and asked for big jobs in his supposed new Kingdom of God he rejected their suppositions and told them that he was amazed that he was with them a long time and still they didn’t understand his mission. It was not a political movement he wanted but a moral revolution of the heart whereby goodness and love for everyone and by everyone would dominate.
In the new social relationship universal goodness, equality and justice would pervade the community and there would be an end to violence, rejection and exclusion.
A most profound vision and an ideal world that may never be, yet one that is worth striving for in our own faith communities. The ideals are for everyone, disciples or not, Christian or not.
We all need to love and be loved as Jesus taught and practiced. His words to his friends at his farewell meal echo today when he says the greatest love we can have is to sacrifice ourselves for others. That’s is today giving and not taking from a community, a family, a friendship. It means the well off are challenged to give back and share their wealth. It means bringing goodness to the needy and the vulnerable. Of course his message was challenging and many left him.
It was his fiery challenging message to the hypocritical corrupt authorities, the cheating traders and unjust judges of his day that aroused hatred, anger and fear among these rich elite. They ruled with gross indifference to the plight of the poor. Jesus called them stinking sepulchers, painted white outside but full of dead bones inside. That was strong language indeed.
His words are as true today as they were then. A similar social and economic situation prevails today in many developing countries. Particularly in the Catholic Philippines where the powerful 140 or so super rich families and their cronies in Congress and the military and police rule the 100 million people with a benign smile and a machine gun in gift wrapping.
They control the many by the tactics of the few. Immediate assassination, imprisonment and execution of the modern day prophets, the human right workers, media practitioners, the social activists, oppositionists, priests and pastors.
Just like the man from Nazareth they are risking all, their good reputation, their name, their family, even life itself. They are working and calling for true justice and respect for human rights and the ouster of the corrupt politicians and judges and prosecutors. They get charged with wrongful accusations, baseless allegations and legal cases to destroy their credibility and smother their cry for justice. They want the kingdom of Jesus to be real and present in order to end the human trafficking, jailing of children, sex tourism, and the disgusting coddling of criminals, child abusers and rapists.
So after the first exciting public arrival of the messenger of God to the city where he was a marked man and his every word and act was noted, they used these against him in false accusations, to trip him and block his mission and bring him down in disgrace. They shamefully succeeded only too well, but only for a while. His words and presence lived on, his life lit up the world and set it on fire with idealism for the kingdom and today it is still there for us. We only have to reach out and embrace that same mission and do our share to change the world and ourselves.
shaycullen@preda.org

Sunday, March 22, 2015

What’s good in being committed?


Are you a committed person?
Do you deliver what you promised?
I make commitments all the time. A commitment has to be met no matter what.
And I do have a confession to make. I, too, have made commitments that I regretted soon after committing.
But don’t get me wrong, I still delivered these commitments even if I felt regretful.
Why so?
Because this is what the numerous years of my professional practice taught me: what I feel doesn’t matter in comparison to the important responsibility my commitment holds.
There is something beautiful about being committed. (And I have met many committed people.) Committed people show characteristics that are worthy of emulation.
1. COMMITTED PEOPLE STAND ON HIGH MORAL GROUNDS.
Committed people exhibit dedication. Their main concern is the fulfillment of their commitments. As a result, they do not make excuses. They value reputation. They know that credibility is more valuable than money.
2. COMMITTED PEOPLE ARE GENERALLY HAPPY.
Many of them have gone through the same challenges ordinary people have. Some of them have experienced frustration and a lot more negative feelings yet they remain happy simply because they are firm or committed on their promises.
3. COMMITTED PEOLE ARE TRUSTWORTHY.
If they say they will get the job done, then they will get the job done. This makes them credible, dependable and reliable. Committed people are assets and highly appreciated by their leaders.
4. COMMITTED PEOPLE KNOW WHY THEY DO THINGS.
A. W. Tozer said, “It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.”
Motives matter. There are people who find good reasons to do wrong things. They are compromising ethical standards.
Committed people do things because they are clear on their motives and aware of the significance their actions have. 
Money is surely not the main motivation for these people but that doesn’t mean that they do not appreciate this.
When you ask committed people why they do what they do, you will get responses like these:
• “Well, it is the right thing to do…”
• “I would like to make a difference…”
• “I enjoy doing it…”
• “I was brought up this way…”
• “If I don’t do it, then nobody would…”
• “It’s just so rewarding…”
You rarely hear them say:
• “I do it so I can earn points…”
• “I like the recognition…”
• “I do it for an advantage over others...”
• “I had no choice…”
These are the words of a person forced to do things.
5. COMMITTED PEOPLE KNOW WHERE THEY ARE HEADING.
They are clear on what they want. Also, they are clear as to where they are heading. Take this for example: a person wants proper finance and health management, a successful marriage and a good family with very productive children, and so the person tends to become committed on how to achieve all these.
Committed people do not make excuses. They make disciplined efforts to stay on the course knowing that in due time they will get their desired results.
People who are committed will not say, “It’s complicated…” because they are clear on what they want and they will stick to it.
Be a person of commitment and start changing your life for the better.
You can connect with Francis Kong through Facebook at www.facebook.com/franciskong2 or listen to his program called “Business Matters” from Monday to Friday at 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in 98.7 dzFE-FM ‘The Master’s Touch’, the classical music station.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What is true success?



Parents want their kids to be successful. This is the reason why parents make sacrifices. They work hard, save money and send their kids to schools with astronomical tuition fees, hoping for the best.
You and I want to be successful. Just take a look at the number of books with the word “success” written on their covers. I consulted my reliable researcher named Google and in just 0.35 seconds, it gave me some 1,110,000,000 articles and references with the word “success”.
But before anything else, what is success?
Some people equate success with being happy and fulfilled. This makes them feel “successful”. Others acquired the dreams they dreamt in their younger years. This makes them feel “successful” as well. For others, success is an award of distinction, a title, a position of influence. Some people define success based on themselves, some let the society define success for them. 
Are there general principles that could accurately measure whether a person is truly successful or not?
Let’s take a look at money.
Motivational speaker and writer Zig Ziglar’s line on money is my favorite. He says, “Money isn’t everything... but it ranks right up there with oxygen.” All throughout the history of mankind, the pursuit of money is high on the list of those who want to be successful. And so success in this aspect may be objectively measured by the amount of money one has.
“The more money you have, the better you can be.” This is taught in the privacy of the home, and children are being trained to pursue it.
But the funny and amazing thing about this is that those who achieved this have written books, wrote articles and warned the rest of us that this never delivered the kind of “success” they longed for.
Accumulated money comes with a cost.
Please don’t get me wrong. Money is moral neutral. It is a tool. It is an instrument. The more you have, the more secure you feel.
Most people misquote the Scriptures when they say that “Money is the root of all evil.” This does not even make sense. If you look closely, the Bible teaches that it is the “love of money” that is the root of all evil. I am sure you know some people who are head over heels in love with it. On the funny side, Mark Twain said, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” And maybe he is right. The pursuit of money is not a bad thing. How you pursue it is the issue.
Now let’s take a look at power.
There are people I know who think power is the most important “success ingredient” to achieve because money comes hand in hand with it.
Again, money is moral neutral as you can use it for good or for personal gain. Power can come either in a political form or simple influence. It is fine as long as you use it for the good and it delivers happiness. This can already make you feel “successful”.
And then some people equate success with happiness and their concept of happiness is closely associated with pleasure. Happiness is so elusive. Happiness could not be pursued because it is simply a byproduct of living a godly life.
How about relationships?
We are not designed to live in isolation. We are constantly involved in relationships, whether superficial or intimate. Unhealthy relationships zap our energy as these relationships really make our emotions go haywire.
What about health? What about our relationship with God? A vibrant relationship with God is something that every happy person I know has.
Is this success? Which one is it? Just like the answer to a student’s favorite type of quiz, the answer is “all of the above.” Success should be holistic.
The thing with success is that you don’t really arrive at success. You wrestle with it, you spar with it. Sometimes, you get it. Many times, you don’t so you continue.
Rather than thinking about success, think about progress.
Personal growth should be intentional.
We continue to achieve growth in every area: finance, health, influence, accomplishments and relationships. Here is the key, be a channel of blessings to others, serve and help others succeed. This is when happiness comes and a sense of meaning permeates the entire being.
True success deals with all areas of your life and the life that goes beyond this one in this planet. The Scriptures say, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Nothing, DUH!
Read more: http://www.philstar.com/business/2015/03/14/1433296/what-true-success#ixzz3UM36f4AJ 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Listen to Him and be transfigured


[2nd Sunday of Lent – The Transfiguration, March 1, 2015.]
THE Transfiguration, recounted by St Mark in today’s Gospel, served to strengthen the weak hearts and drooping knees of Peter, James and John. They were led to a high mountain and before them Jesus was transfigured. His clothes became dazzling white and in the middle of this spectacular scene Moses and Elijah appear and begin conversing with Jesus. What about? Mark does not tell us but Luke is more revealing!
They “spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem” foretelling his suffering, death and glorious resurrection. The Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) all concur that Christ is the glory of the Father and in him is the fullness of the revelation, both the Old Testament and the New.
The placing of the Transfiguration in Mark’s gospel is immediately after the announcement of Jesus’ Passion and Death. The disciples could not understand the announcement of his suffering or even accept it. They were afraid. As Pope St Leo the Great declared, “The great reason for the transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.”
And how we long for the same experience of transfiguration, especially in the moments of suffering, in moments of darkness. We easily conclude that those disciples were really lucky to see what they saw and to hear what they heard. And what about us, poverini, the poor ones? But Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and so are his disciples! Like them we lose trust very easily, when the road gets bumpy, when it starts to become cloudy in our following.
The Father gives us the same advice as he gave the fearful disciples on the cloudy mountain-top, “This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to Him.” Listen to him even if he is talking about his suffering and death. Trust him! Listen to him when you are lost, when in the darkness of temptation, when fearful of your weakness, when your vision is clouded and you have lost sight of the way. And lo and behold, listening to Jesus in his Word you are enlightened! Transfigured!
If we want to be transfigured we must listen. The key to the transfiguration is listening. Only the one who listens will be transformed from a caterpillar to a butterfly this Lent. Listening helps us grow in a trusting relationship in this God who loves us and who supports us.
I remember a meeting of our community before the World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005 when I was in charge of accommodating 200 people in tents. The weather was terrible, cold, windy and worse of all with torrential downpours. What encouraged me was the help of my dad with his 30 years experience in the military and also the faith of the overall organizer, a German sister in my community. Whenever I shared to her about the worsening situation she would always respond, “If God is for us who can be against us?” And sure enough all the guests survived the unforgettable camping experience!
How important it is to really trust in God. On the US dollar bill it states “In God we trust.” But do we really? Our experience is often like that of the disciples whose faith was shaken in the announcement of the Lord’s Passion. They could not understand and were afraid. It is as if God’s tender care for us is conditional and so when things are going well “He loves me.” But when suffering comes, when we don’t control everything, when we don’t understand and have to wait, we conclude “He loves me not.” But is God’s love for us really inconsistent? Or are we the ones who are just a little bit fickle at times?
Let us listen to the beloved Son this Lent, to trust him even when he talks of his Passion and death. With his disciples when they heard the voice of the Father they fell down afraid. Jesus touched them and said “Rise!” Jesus will not be slow to respond. His touch transfigures moments of fear and darkness. He will not let us down. With his grace we too can become agents of change, able to transfigure the world around us.
Let us journey this Lent with added confidence. Let us wait patiently for the transfiguration in moments of suffering. Surely this is the best training for the Easter experience where we shall share in the suffering and death of Jesus, by hoping and fixing our gaze on the eternal Transfiguration of his Resurrection. Amen.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Go home and do nothing




I have something important to share with you married folks with children: consider everyday life realities.
You need two hours to go to work and two and half hours to get back home. This is a terrible and stressful reality for urban dwellers in Manila who have no choice but to crawl through the main city artery called EDSA.
Experts say that when an economy booms, traffic increases. More cars are purchased, more buildings are constructed but road sizes remain the same. Sometimes, I hit the road as early as 5:30 a.m. to avoid traffic yet cars are already flooding the streets and yes, there are impending political campaigns and parades that will soon compete for road spaces.
There are many who do not want to visit Manila. I remember, some of my friends in Bacolod told me this: “Francis, here in Bacolod, when we have to stop our cars in front of the traffic lights waiting for the go signal, we complain and claim that it is already traffic.” I got the same sentiments from my friends in General Santos City and Davao.
Now, we wake up in the morning then we rush to work. We “rush” everything we do.
We have appointments to make, deadlines to meet, and conferences to attend. So we rush through the day and then go home, stressed out and tired but still, there are emails and Skype calls to answer from colleagues in another country with a different time zone. Finally, we grab a few hours of sleep, then wake and repeat the cycle. This is modern day life.
They say that technology will help simplify our lives, but I am not too sure about that. The more technology we have, the better and faster we are expected to perform.
This is why I would like to suggest something that is radical and necessary.
I would like you to consider a certain day in a week when you can go home early and do nothing.
That’s right. Take the afternoon off. Beat the rush hour. Go home and do nothing.
If you really desire a better life, it doesn’t take huge, dramatic overnight change and you don’t have to purchase more apps or use technology to help you. All you need is to do little things differently. But the thing here is that these little things I want you to do will cause such a huge change and improvement in your personal and professional life.
Your business is important. Your career is essential. This is no longer a debatable fact. You need to make sure that your business life and personal life aren’t tangled. Do not use your business as an extension or basis of your personal life. If you succeed in one but fail in the other, there might be damages to your system and eventually, both may suffer.
The people in our personal arena really matter. We practically spend more time at work and outside the home than we do with the people who matter the most to us. This is why I would like you to go home early and do nothing once in a while.
Do everything that can improve your life connections with the people who care for you the most.
Your contracts, proposals and your climb to fame and fortune can wait until tomorrow. For just one day, set your priorities aside and go home early.
Spend time with your kids doing nothing but silly things that make them laugh. They will remember these moments for the rest of their lives. There is another time for sermon. What your kids want from you is your attention and praise. Tell stories. Urge them to tell you their stories. Laugh, reach out and love.
Perhaps, there are relationships to work on; there might be instances that made a family member drift away from you. Use the extra time to reach out. Swallow your pride and strengthen your life. You don’t have to miss all of these; business will be there tomorrow.
Just go home and do nothing. And when you really think about it, it’s not really nothing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The power of confidence



I attended the TedxManila event a few days ago, not as a speaker but as a participant. My son, Bryan, together with his band mate, Siops, did a talk on music and technology.

Their lead singer, Sara, completed the presentation by singing a new song of their own composition.

It was a very good presentation. And the key element that made the presentation good was because of the confidence they have shown.

Perhaps, it’s because their group named “Taken by Cars” has performed in many places not only here but also abroad. Or they have really taken the desire to do a good presentation right to the heart. And so they practiced hard and developed the confidence to present well.

Confidence is key. What makes me confident today?

I wouldn’t stand in front of many people to speak if I don’t have the confidence. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that building confidence should start as early as childhood. And it starts with something as simple as always handing things to an adult using two hands. This Asian custom always gives a good impression.
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Confidence is important because it sets the tone.

Confidence creates favorable impressions that build up your public image. Confidence is not cockiness. Cockiness is for people with shallow minds and empty hearts camouflaging their insecurities. True confidence comes from the inside.

To create a good first impression while exuding confidence, here are some suggestions:

Dress appropriately for the occasion. Casual clothes are for casual occasions. And if the occasion is not casual, do not wear casual.

Hand things like business cards, pens, etc. using two hands.

And when somebody gives you his or her card, take time to study the details printed on the card. Do not just casually put the card away.

Shake hands firmly.

Make sure you pack with you the following tools:

Courtesy. Always be polite.

Attentiveness. Listening makes you a great conversationalist.

Being pleasant. There is power in charm.

Confidence. Do not be cocky.

Preparedness. You do not want to waste other people’s time by being sloppy with your work.

Consistency. Be constant in what you say and what you do.

Being positive. Do not relish in giving negative comments.

And most important of all, do not try to be somebody you are not, this is hard to live up to, just always be yourself.

And if you cannot exercise the suggestions given, then I would highly recommend that you spend more time working on your attitude and character.

This simply means you lack the confidence needed to create a positive impression. Read books on personal growth. Get a mentor. Attend seminars. But most importantly, be the person God wants you to be. Seek constant improvement and remember, the more you learn, the more confident you become.

And above all, consider others better than yourself. True humility is the most convincing evidence of confidence.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WEALTH SECRETS OF BIBLE :

http://laws-of-money.com/index.php

When you follow God’s Word in the Bible, your destiny is to be financially successful. - Mark Kauchak

This is a bold statement to make, but when you learn the awesome promises made to us in the Bible you will know it is true. Yes, you are destined to be a financial success. Believe it or not you have been blessed from the moment of your birth with everything you need for success.

You may have a hard time believing this because:

• of past failures to make any money building a second income or failures you have had in other parts of your life.
• there is a pile of bills sitting on your kitchen table waiting to be paid with little money to pay them with.
• you are overwhelmed trying to figure out how to make any money online
• you are not sure how to manage your finances to ensure a life free from financial worry

Make no mistake though; regardless of where you are now financially, Success can be in your future – when you commit to following a different path!

The Bible is a treasure house of information about how to be financially successful. It is a guide filled with advice as real and applicable today as it was when it was first written two thousand plus years ago.

The Bible provides us the guidance we need to enjoy a life of financial abundance by laying out the rules we must follow in order to obtain the awesome promises waiting for us.

But few people ever spend the time to look for, read and understand the messages in the Bible. And so, the promises God is ready to grant us remain unknown to most of us even though they are there for anyone willing to take the time to investigate the success secrets of the Bible.

The lessons that teach what we need to do to be financially successful are just as powerful and applicable today as they were to the first readers thousands of years ago.

These proven messages about financial success however, have been forgotten and overshadowed today by the newest, quickest and surest ways to make money at the cost of disappointment, discouragement and confusion in so many lives. I can hear it now; my parents were divorced, my dad drank, I was born in a poor neighborhood, I don't have a college degree, I'm too old, I can't... I don't..., I wasn't... I’m not … and the list goes on and on. While some people cling to these and so many more excuses for financial failure and can recite them like a mantra, be assured poverty is not God’s plan for us!

Wealth Secret # 1

Forget any ideas you may have about who can be successful! When we makethe decision to follow God’s rules our financial success does not depend on our education, sex, race, where you were born, the wealth of your parents or how tough your life has been. None of this matters when we commit to follow God’s rules.

That God shows no favoritism is a message that is clear from the Bible.

In Romans 2:11 we read;

“With God there is no favoritism.”

And from Acts 10:34-35;

“Peter proceeded to address them in these words; “I begin to see how true it is that God shows no partiality. Rather, the man of any nation who fears God and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him.””
Yes it is true some of us will have tougher roads to travel. In the end however, the only person responsible for achieving or not achieving financial success is the one person we see in the mirror every day when we wake up in the morning and go to bed at night.
Remember, success many times comes about because people change the way they think about success. So forget those ideas about success you may have picked up along the way because of the wasted time and money you have spent trying to build a second income with nothing to show for your efforts. Forget ideas about success that try to convince you who can and who can’t be successful.
Learn a new way to financial success that is available to anyone willing to take the time to learn at and to take action!

********************************************

The Biblical Guide to Internet Riches teaches there are three ingredients needed for success regardless of how you want to make money. Every aspiring entrepreneur needs, in this order, a Success Philosophy (the approach to wealth), a Success System (the game plan) and a Success Program (how you make your money).

But the Success Program, or how you actually make your money, comes third on the list of success steps following the Success Philosophy and Success System. Most of us have not been taught or learned steps one and two. All we see advertised on the Internet, in magazines and in the mail is information about Success Programs – how to make money to buy huge houses, expensive cars or
take dream vacations.

I tried many programs and many ways to make money. So how did I do with all of these programs designed to help reap a huge, financial harvest? Like the majority of people trying to build a second income I failed miserably spending untold dollars and time with nothing to show for it other than a stack of bills and a very unhappy wife because I did not have a Success Philosophy or a
Success System to follow. Take making money on the Internet for example. We have all seen the statistics quoted about Internet success. Depending on where you get your information, the
chances of people making real money on the Internet is somewhere between 3% – 10%. That is pretty sad. What makes it even worse is that many people truly need to make some extra money not to buy a fancy new car or wide screen TV, but just to stay one step ahead of bill collectors. Or, many people are just looking for some extra money to get ahead in life and have some financial security.
Think about it this way. If you were out looking for a car to buy and the chances of it starting were only 3% or even 10%, would you buy it? Would you buy anything for that matter which only had a 3% or even 10% chance of working? Of course not!
Yet how many of us do not hesitate to plunk down hundreds of dollars to start building a second income using approaches almost guaranteed to result in failure? Ouch! That hurts doesn’t it?
There has to be more reasons than just bad programs to explain why people are not making money. Actually the opposite is probably more accurate – there are so many good programs and ways to make money, the beginner and those who have failed on the Net are overwhelmed with choices. But most books you will findabout how to make money on the Net are focused on programs, or how to make money.
No, it is not the program – it is your approach to making money that is wrong! When you finally accept this fact and you open your mind to new possibilities, you will find the success you so desperately want. Once you learn and follow a new Success Philosophy and the step by step Success
System, the Success Program you choose will help place you in the 3% to 10% of Netrepreneurs who do make money on the Net. And most importantly for Christians who want to build Success His Way, these two building blocks are based on the Bible.
Without a Success Philosophy and Success System, you have a shaky foundation on which to build your success that all too often comes tumbling down, as you have probably unfortunately experienced.

Let’s look at how both of these factors can help us reach any financial goals we desire! We will start with the Success Philosophy.

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As you might expect, Christians are called to do more with the gifts our Father blesses us with.
When you read the Bible you will find there are definite expectations placed on us about how we are to use our money. And as we will soon see, how we use our money will determine how much more we will be blessed.
The purpose for the money we acquire is not to have bigger houses, faster cars or more gadgets to play with. These can come as a by-product of following the guidelines in the Bible, but they are not the primary reason we will be blessed with wealth.
As a result of a great deal of research, there is only one reason I have discovered to explain why we are destined for financial success. When you use this concept to guide you, you will discover your life will be changed in so many wonderful ways.

Wealth Secret # 2:

The reason why God will bless us with financial abundance is so we can be His hands on earth.
- Mark Kauchak

This may come as a surprise to many, but if you read the number of verses in the Bible that talk about our financial duties, you will find some pretty specific guidance for us. Our financial obligations can be summarized as follows:

1. Tithe

2. Help the needy

In Malachai 3:10 we read:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me in this says the Lord of hosts: Shall I not open the floodgates of heaven, to pour down blessings upon you without measure?”

And in Proverbs 3:9-10:
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with first fruits of your harvest. Then will your barns be filled with grain, with your new wine your vats will overflow.”

From Hebrews 13:16:
"Do not neglect good deeds and generosity; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind"

Finally we see the advice Tobit gives to his son Tobiah in Tobit 4:7:
“Give alms from your possessions. Do not turn your face from any of the poor, and God’s face will not be turned away from you.”

What is really fascinating and little understood is that the Bible tells us by doing what God has asked us to do, to tithe generously from our first fruits and help the needy; He will bless us many times over. All we need to do is put God first in our lives.

Whether we are tithing or helping those in need, when we are generous with our money, we read in the Bible that we cannot outdo the generosity of our Father and He will bless us many times over. These are promises we can rely on because they are found in the Bible. But we must let money flow freely in and out of our lives Here is how Christians can make such a tremendous impact in the world.
The wealth pump starts when we tithe and help those in need. God has promised to bless us far in excess of what we give. When we receive these blessings, we are in a position to use more of our money to tithe more and give more to help the needy. As we receive more blessings from God we are in the position to tithe and help more – and the cycle grows and grows.

Now imagine this concept being used by Christians throughout the world and the impact we can have. Can you see now why I am so excited about spreading this philosophy to as many people as possible?
Isn’t this awesome? Once you learn the rules you need to follow to receive God’s blessings, your excuses for not taking action and not succeeding are gone! Here are the rules you need to follow for how you use your money.

Wealth Secret # 3

We must follow Gods Rules for our Finances. They are in this order:

1. Be a good steward for the money you are given
2. Tithe
3. Provide for yourself and your loved ones
4. Help those in need
5. Buy the extras you will enjoy – treat yourself!

We all know it is not easy to follow these rules. Just think about what bombards us 24 hours a day on TV, internet and the radio; buy the newest, sleekest, sexiest, largest … for ourselves. All of these messages work to make sure we put ourselves first. Why? Because this attitude is all part of the “me first” Wall Street mentality to spend, spend, spend on me, me, me.
Think about the testimonials and pictures you read about for programs. When the people describe how their lives have been changed because of all the money they made with a particular program or book, they talk about how many new cars or the big house they bought or the vacations they took. When we buy into this philosophy, tithing and helping others go by the wayside, which is not God’s plan for our money.
Placing ourselves first on the priority list for spending money goes counter to God’s plan for our money. When this happens and we place our needs first on the priority list, we focus our financial plans on ourselves essentially paying ourselves first instead of God. Satisfying our desires becomes number 1 on our list instead of number 5. Our life is out of whack! Before you get the idea you have to dress in burlap bags or live in a cardboard box remember this; there is nothing wrong with buying the nicer things in life. But those things must wait when we follow God’s rules not man’s. Placing ourselves number 5 on the priority list is very difficult for many of us. But who said being a Christian was easy?

What is so awesome is that when we follow God’s plan for our finances, when we put God first in our lives the financial pump is primed and we will be blessed far beyond our original contributions. God has promised rewards of abundance when we follow His rules – when we achieve Success His Way.

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With all of the verses in the Bible describing how we should use our money to do good it is truly unfortunate there are people who actually believe money is evil. This attitude is hard to understand if we believe God wants us to be financially successful so we can be His hands on earth. How can we fulfill this role when our attitude about money may actually be preventing us from accumulating wealth to do God’s work? We need to change this attitude at once! Believing money is evil will sabotage our efforts to gain wealth. This attitude works just like magnets with the same charge that repel each other. Negative thoughts about money repel money. This may be hard to understand now, but the Chapter on Faith in The Biblical Guide to Internet Riches will describe very clearly why this is so and why it may be the very reason you have not been making money with your programs to date. Rather than debate the good and the bad of money, we need to think about money in a whole new way. This way of looking at money will forever change how you think about it as it has mine and in so doing will eliminate false beliefs that may be the cause of your lack of financial success.
Here it is …


Wealth Secret # 4

All the money we obtain is a loan from God. But unlike loans in real life, our God is kind and generous and does not require us to pay 100% of the loan back. The Bible instructs us to pay God back in the form of tithes and by helping those in need. We are also told the tithes must come from the first fruits of our success, meaning it is the first obligation we must pay. And unlike loans in real life, when we pay back the small portion God asks of us, what does He do? Whatever the amount of money we offer as tithes and use to help the needy, we will be blessed many times over and His generosity will not be
outdone. The Bible is very specific about these blessings! The money we are provided by God as a loan should be viewed as a tool. Like any tool, it can be used in a good or bad way. How you use it is up to you. When you view money as a tool, you can use it for good and you can let it go in and out of
your life without a problem. Your only concern should be how to use this tool to live God’s word.
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Wealth Secret # 5

Any journey to success must start with a decision to change! Sooner or later in your life you must decide to change your financial situation. Your decision to change will be the starting point for your journey to success. Through all of the reading I did in the Bible and my library of success books, it is
clear that success does not come from outside factors alone. Success must start from the inside. For as you will discover, how much money you make depends on only one factor – you! But nothing can happen until your journey to financial success starts with a decision. You have to finally say “I am not happy with where I am at and I am going to do something to improve”. Until you make this decision, nothing in your life will change – it is this simple. Despite what you may hope for or want to believe, doing nothing and hoping things will magically change for you will not bring you success.Tony Robbins in his book “Awaken the Giant Within” says: “Making a true decision means committing to achieving a result, and then cutting yourself off from any other possibility.”. To me, that is what “cutting yourself off from any other possibility” means. How can we turn this decision into the type of decision described by Tony Robbins that will not allow you to settle for anything less than total success? You
must find deep within you the reason why you want to change. James Allen in “As A Man Thinketh” also talks about the next step to take once you have made a decision to change: “A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart and set out to accomplish it …They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles and self pityings, all of which are
indications of weakness, which lead just as surely as deliberately planned sins (although by a different route), to failure, unhappiness, and loss, for weakness cannot exist in a power evolving universe.”
According to Napoleon, here is the benefit of the burning desire caused by having a legitimate purpose or a Core Desire: “A burning desire to be and to do is the starting point from which the dreamer must take off. Dreams are not born of indifference, laziness or lack of ambition.” Make your decision to change. Then find the reason why you want to change. It must be a powerful and compelling reason. You will need this for one of the steps in the Success System you will shortly learn about.

Wealth Secrets 6, 7 and 8

There are three related factors we need to learn about in order to get ready to claim the promises of financial success waiting for us in the Bible. Since they are interrelated we will discuss them at the same time. You must have an unshakeable Faith, a Positive Mental Attitude or PMA regardless of the trials you encounter and you must include Prayer in your plans for success. There is absolutely no doubt Faith is a key message for us to learn and use in the Bible. There is a superb definition of Faith found in Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction
about things we do not see.” Does this describe the Faith you have about achieving your financial goals ? Given the emphasis placed on Faith by the inspired writers, Faith must be a key
factor to our success in life too. Here are a couple of examples .

The blind men meet Jesus in Matthew 10: 28-29.
“Jesus said to them, "Are you confident I can do this?" "Yes Lord" they told him. At that point he touched their eyes and said, "Because of your faith it shall be done to you."”

Or how about the hemorrhaging woman in Mark 4:28: "If only I just touch his clothing," she thought, "I shall get well." Jesus said to her, "Daughter, it is your faith that has cured you."
In each of these examples, Jesus worked a miracle in the lives of these people because they had Faith. Ultimately, Faith means how much we believe God will (not can) bless us in our lives. Faith creates a burning desire for success because you will be doing something you are passionate about and you know success is the end result.

Faith creates a powerful by-product that plays an important role in achieving your success - Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). Believe it or not, the Bible does talk about the need to have a Positive Mental Attitude! Faith and PMA are the dynamic duo that will see you through any adversity, through any slump, through any doubts to make sure you arrive at any destination of your choosing.
What then is the relationship between Faith and PMA?
To start with, when you have Faith, you know you will achieve your desired goal of financial independence. With this confidence, you develop a Positive Mental Attitude.
With PMA, regardless of the roadblocks you run into on your journey you have the ability to keep positive thoughts – because through your Faith you know you will achieve success.
Finally, praying is interconnected and cannot be separated from Faith. There are just 2 things required to have your prayers answered.
1. Asking in Faith
2. God’s willingness to bestow
The secret to answered prayer in any aspect of our lives is to have both conditions fulfilled. This also applies to our prayers for financial success. Both conditions must be met in order for us to realize the promises made to us about financial security in the Bible.

But how should we pray? What is the most effective way to pray so that God will hear our prayers? We must do several things.
1. First, we must pray with complete Faith. Remember we must pray not that God can answer our prayers but that He will. That is praying with Faith!
2. We must eliminate the escape clause … If … from our prayers! We must pray with the expectation of prayers being answered. Unfortunately answered prayer seems to cause more amazement than being the norm for us.
3. You must be specific in your prayers. You must ask your Subconscious Mind the right answers to get the answers you seek. To say I want to be financially successful is not being specific. To say I want to pay off $35,000 in bills is specific. How else are you going to know if your prayers are being answered or how else will you know when you are receiving guidance to achieve your goals?
4. Once you have prayed in Faith, go about your business taking action,
knowing that your prayers rest with God. Listen to your Subconscious Mind for answers to your prayers and be alert for the circumstances you need for success!
Employ these techniques in your prayer life and see how powerful your prayers can become!
All of the Wealth Secrets discussed help form a Success Philosophy that is aligned with the Bible. The Wealth Secrets will prepare your mind to achieve Success His Way. We must now develop a Success System to implement what we have learned, for as we know, without taking action, there can be no success.

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The first Factor of the Formula of the Success System is to Conceive, which consists of 6 steps.

Step 1
You must identify your Heart’s Desire – that one reason that is causing you to develop a second income. The Desire will be your focus that will drive you to success no matter what obstacle you must overcome. Write down your Heart’s Desire(s). Make it a passionate statement. Make it a powerful one. Put lots of feeling into it because you will find the more passion and feeling it has, the more of a motivator it will be for you.

Step 2
Set your goals. Don’t make the mistake of setting lofty goals right from the start. If you do, you may find your Faith may not be strong enough to believe in what you are doing and you may be doomed from the start. Don’t forget about your ultimate objective, just set smaller sub-goals to help you
get there. It’s like the old joke; “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Step 3
Identify your Financial Success DNA. In this step you will answer questions to help you determine what your strengths and capabilities are as well as what really interests you. This means you need to really be honest answering these questions since this will help you choose the program that ill give you the best chance of success. This is not the step where you choose your program.

Step 4
Find the program that matches your Financial Success DNA. This is where you do the research to find the program that best matches your Financial Success DNA. Don’t choose a program just because of the money it promises or the “guru” who is pushing it. Make sure it is something you will enjoy doing! Note, it is not time to sign up for a program!

Step 5
This is the step you choose your program and develop the plan to implement your decision. No, it is not time to sign up for programs yet!

Step 6
In this step you will fine-tune your plan by giving it a once over to make sure you are still happy with your selection. After all, you will be committing time and money to build your financial future. Take the extra time now before you get started to make sure you are headed down the right path. It is still not time to sign up for programs yet!

Factor 2

Once you have finished the Conceive Factor, the next Factor is to Take Action. This is when you will finally sign up for your program and execute the plans you developed in the Conceive Factor. The Bible encourages us to take action and not expect success to just fall in our lap.

In Ecclesiastes 11:6 we find the following verse: “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening let not your hand be idle: For you know not which of the two will be successful, or whether both
alike will turn out well.”

Factor 3

The final Factor is to Persevere and is important enough to merit separate mention.

In Mark Chapter 11, the story is told of a man who receives unexpected visitors late at night. Because he had no warning of their arrival, he has no food to offer. He goes to a neighbor’s house, even though it is a late hour, to see if the neighbor has some food to spare. Jesus tells his listeners, "I tell you, even though he does not get up and take care of the man because of friendship, he will do so because of his persistence, and give him as much as he needs."
We are told in this and other parables about the need to persist in our efforts. When we do persist, our reward is to be blessed with what we ask for – financial prosperity.

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to make it on the Internet


Art by MIKA BACANI
MANILA, Philippines - We young people can’t afford our own houses yet, but we do own a hefty amount of real estate. Online, that is. Virtually, we’ve found homes through our blogs and social media accounts; the feel of a perfectly framed Instagram post or a well-written blog post can practically give us the same cushy feelings that our beds can give. In fact, psychology professor Kristen Lindquist of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says that because we get a shot of dopamine for every like, reblog, and fave, it becomes something we crave for. You know, like cocaine but cheaper.
So it only makes sense that like our moms and titas who would basically D-I-E at the thought of their living rooms making the cover of Architectural Digest, some of us would also like our Internet enclaves and personalities to gain the kind of attention we think they deserve. Of course, managing to cultivate a retweetable Internet persona is no easy task.
To figure out just what it is that makes an Internet superstar tick, we’ve called upon the collective powers of a few of Manila’s most well-known bloggers. From fashion blog demigods to Instagram rock stars, these virtual celebrities give us some tips and tricks to wading the waters of Internet fame. Fair warning, your online real estate will never be the same again.
Rule #1: Networking helps you gain a bigger audience
A lot of people think that making connections or reaching out is a trait of a user, but a friend once described it as such: ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours.’ One example of this being, as a blogger, nobody’s going to read your blog if you don’t read other people’s blogs.
— Nina Pineda, @ninagpineda
Weapon of choice: Blogspot
Rule #2: Quality will always trump quantity
It’s not about the quantity of your followers, it’s about the kind of people who choose to listen to you.
I have 5k Twitter followers, and for a nobody like me, it’s an insane amount. But if you compare it to other internet personalities, it is not that much. But I still feel pretty proud about it because my followers are some of the funniest people I’ve met. Whenever I tweet something mildly funny/witty, almost always someone way funnier/wittier than me responds. And it makes me feel good that at least one smart-ass likes my content.
— Khaela de Leon, @khaela
Weapon of choice: Twitter
Rule #3: Deal with your haters privately
People love drama, so much so that they’d actually try and start it for you. Be the bigger person and ignore it, just don’t comment on anything publicly — and if there is an issue, hash it out with that person privately. No one else needs to know business that is between you and the other person.
— Camie Juan, @camiejuan
Weapon of choice: Wordpress
Rule #4: Your safety is a priority
Share but don’t over share. Be cautious about what you put out on the Internet for your own safety.
— Camille Co, @camilleco
Weapon of choice: Wordpress
Rule #5: ‘Thank you’ goes a long, long way
The most important thing I want people to remember is to always be nice. No matter how big you get, it is important to remember to keep your feet on the ground. Never feel entitled to be treated specially just because a lot of people know you. When someone says your work is beautiful, never forget to say “thank you.”
— Jelito de Leon, @jelitodeleon
Weapon of choice: Instagram